Congressman Collins visits Genesee County Airport, talks about secured federal funding
Congressman Chris Collins, center, discusses the grant funding and runway reconstruction with Tim Hens, the county highway superintendent.
Genesee County Officials gave Congressman Chris Collins a tour of the Genesee County Airport on Wednesday, showing Collins what the recently secured Department of Transportation funds will be going toward.
On July 20, Collins announced that $2,926,222 in federal funding had been secured for the airport, located in Batavia, to resurface the center portion of the runway. The runway has not been resurfaced since 1978, according to Tim Hens, the county highway superintendent.
Collins said everyone was working together successfully to secure the grant.
“Without the federal government, you wouldn’t have it,” Collins said. “There’s no way Genesee County has the money. There is a role for the federal government.”
A lot of people wonder why the federal government gives money to small airports, Hens said.
“The reality of it is, you want to get some of the small plane traffic away from Buffalo and Rochester,” Hens said. “So, when you’re landing [large planes,] they’re not having to deal with small planes.”
Hens said they received the grant money Tuesday, but the runway reconstruction will start next spring.
“We gave the contractor the option of going this fall,” Hens said. “They said they want to start in the spring.”
There will only be a period of two weeks where the runway will be completely closed down during the day. The construction will be phased in and there will be a lot of nighttime work, Hens said.
Medium-sized business jets will be able to land once the runway is complete. Hens said the runway is limited to jets under 47,000 pounds, but once the restoration is complete, planes up to 65,000 pounds will be able to land.
The Genesee County Airport is perfect for a lot of businesses and Darien Lake Theme Park talent, Hens said.
“We need to make it convenient for corporate executives to get into Genesee County,” Collins said. “This is a big win. It is federal money and the county is not having to borrow money.”
Collins said the reconstruction will impact the county in the long run.
“The message here is, this is a county that gets it, is business-friendly and knows how to take care of infrastructure,” Collins said. “Whether it's sewers, roads, water or electricity, that’s what’s important to business."
For previous coverage of the grant funding, click here.
Man, he's EVERYWHERE with all that FREE money!!!
You'd almost think he had an election coming up.